Advertising art

Public art organisation EC-Arts is aiming turn Birmingham into a massive art gallery by transforming 100 advertising billboards in the city into artists’ canvases.

Ian Richardson - What You Looking At
Ian Richards – What You Looking At

The 48-Sheet project, which kicks off next April, will see billboards organised into ‘clusters’, which the organisers say will ‘enable people to view the outdoor exhibition in a similar way to a traditional gallery exhibition’.

Of the 100 billboards, 60 are being curated by Jonathan Watkins, director of Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery, and Dr Jiang Jiehong, director of the Centre for Chinese Visual Arts and Birmingham Institute of Art and Design.

Untitled by Lucy McLauchlan
Untitled by Lucy McLauchlan

They have selected a series of international artists including Made In Collective, from China, and Indian group Raqs Media Collective.

A further 40 billboards have been opened up for national and international artists in an open call for submissions. A final selection is to be made this week, with more than 300 artists having responded to the brief of ‘cultural curiosity’.

Untitled by Lucy McLauchlan
Untitled by Lucy McLauchlan

The branding for 48-Sheet has been created by consultancy Heavy Object and catalogues and city maps will also be available, recommending 48-Sheet tours around the city.

Will Go Underground - Elizabeth Rowe
Untitled by Lucy McLauchlan

The Birmingham installation will be the inaugural 48-Sheet event, with an aspiration to roll the project out to other cities. The project is sponsored by Arts Council England, outdoor advertising groups JCDecaux and Primesight.

Will Go Underground - Elizabeth Rowe
Will Go Underground – Elizabeth Rowe

The images are from a pilot event which was held in Birmingham earlier this year.

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  • Nick Morgan November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    This is brilliant. The more public art to make use of Birmingham’s walls and hoardings, the better. See also Hill Street Art project.

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